Demonstrations across China in recent days, protested the government’s handling of the COVID crisis as people tired of lockdowns and constantly changing restrictions. In a change announced Saturday, officials said truck drivers and ship crews transporting anti-virus goods domestically would no longer be stopped at checkpoints to confirm their COVID-negative status.
He said that what’s most needed now is a vaccine that works better against the new variants. Kizzmekia Corbett, assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases, who helped develop the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, acknowledged that, as a woman of color in the science field, she is a role model to some children. Kizzmekia Corbett, assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases, who was scientific lead in the development of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, discussed her research and work, the importance of good mentorship, and finding her place in science. Deep cleaning of airplanes—prevalent during the beginning of the pandemic—has eased over time, as it became clearer that the coronavirus spreads mainly through tiny airborne particles. “As more was learned about covid and transmission routes of covid, it was recognized that deep cleaning was overkill,” said Leonard Marcus, founding co-director of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative NPLI) and co-director of NPLI’s Aviation Public Health Initiative. Marcus and other experts noted that airlines are still prioritizing air filtration and that flying can be generally safe, but recommended that passengers continue to take precautions such as wearing a high-quality mask while flying.
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Americans are now able to order a third round of free COVID tests from the government. Phyllis Kanki, Mary Woodard Lasker Professor of Health Sciences, offered some advice on how to use the tests. And if you’re negative, you should test again the next day.” If the test is negative and you still have symptoms, you should try more rapid tests or consider a PCR test.
He said the system, although imperfect, helps empower people to make data-based decisions about their health and about community health. Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard Chan School, and science director of the CDC’s Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics, quoted. Dean Michelle Williams spoke about some challenges facing the Biden administration regarding COVID-19 response, such as working to overcoming vaccine hesitancy and increasing the accessibility of testing and high-quality masks. Reduced deforestation, better management of wildlife trade and hunting, and better surveillance of zoonotic pathogens before they spill into human populations are all key strategies that could help prevent future pandemics, according to a new report. Aaron Bernstein, interim director of Harvard Chan School’s Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE), was lead author and Marcia Castro, Andelot Professor of Demography and chair of theDepartment of Global Health and Population, was a co-author. Communities across Massachusetts are rolling back COVID-19 restrictions such as masking. Leonard Marcus, founder and director of the Program for Health Care Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, said he’s worried that some places are lifting protections too soon.
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A second dose of the boosters might be needed to generate high levels of Omicron-specific neutralizing antibodies, says Cao. More than a month on, hospitalizations are declining in line with projections, says Justin Lessler, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who leads the modelling effort. The roll-out of ‘bivalent’ boosters that target both the original SARS-CoV-2 strain and Omicron “has been a little bit slow”, says Lessler.
He noted that people should be careful right now because U.S. cases are edging upward and there could be a new surge with new sub-variants of omicron BA.2. Experts say that rapid COVID tests can pick up Omicron variants but that people may need to take multiple tests, because sometimes, early on in infection, the amount of virus in the body may not yet be high enough for the tests to detect it. Phyllis Kanki, Mary Woodard Lasker Professor of Health Sciences, noted that at-home rapid tests are very good at detecting the virus during the highest peak of virus replication—usually when a person is showing symptoms.
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“It’s lunacy,” said Sarah Fortune, John LaPorte Given Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases and chair of theDepartment of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, when asked if it makes sense for someone in their 50s to try to get COVID before they turn 60 and are in a higher-risk category. “Every time you get sick with COVID there is a small but not zero risk of bad things happening,” she said. Dean Michelle Williams was among panelists discussing inequalities in health care and how to support the mental health and wellness of health care workers. Air on planes “is extraordinarily safe,” said Leonard Marcus, founding co-director of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative NPLI) and co-director of NPLI’s Aviation Public Health Initiative. Young children and adolescents were among the people most negatively impacted by pandemic lockdowns, according to psychiatric epidemiologist Tamsin Ford. Ford spoke at a virtual event that was part of Harvard Chan School’s Population Mental Health Forum Series, hosted by Karestan Koenen, professor of psychiatric epidemiology. She also noted that some kids who were already struggling with emotional issues actually seemed to do better during the pandemic.
- “It could lead to some upswings as we go into the fall and winter months,” Lessler adds.
- And, for those who are interested in events and programs, our Community Calendar offers a list of the numerous activities scheduled throughout our communities.
- A recent claim by a Wisconsin state senator that over-vaccination causes faster mutation of the coronavirus is false, said a number of experts, including Sarah Fortune, John LaPorte Given Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases and chair of theDepartment of Immunology and Infectious Diseases.
- Tori Cowger, health and human rights fellow at the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center of Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, was among several health experts expressing concern that COVID cases are likely to rise in Massachusetts as schools reopen, given that few interventionary measures are in place.
- Eric Rubin, adjunct professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard Chan School and a member of the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee, quoted.
- Howard Koh, Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health and former assistant U.S. secretary of health and Massachusetts public health commissioner, said he expects that cases are substantially underreported, which skews the data necessary to plan hospital capacity and staffing.
People aged 50 and older are now eligible for a second COVID-19 booster, although experts continue to debate just how helpful these boosters will be. At this point, “each additional dose Wave News and Articles is offering marginal value,” said Eric Rubin, adjunct professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard Chan School and a member of the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee.
Leonard Marcus, founding co-director of theNational Preparedness Leadership Initiative and co-director of NPLI’sAviation Public Health Initiative, noted that masks can reduce the likelihood of getting COVID-19 by around 50%, and also can reduce your chance of transmitting COVID-19 by around 50%. “If you put that together—so you’ve got a lot of people on an aeroplane, everybody’s wearing a mask—you’ve done something, in combination with the ventilation system, that really reduces the likelihood of transmission,” he said.
Dean Michelle Williams was one of the more than 200 leading U.S. doctors and scientists who signed an open letter in support of Anthony Fauci, who has been the subject of Republican attacks. Daniel Wikler, Mary B. Saltonstall Professor of Ethics and Population Health, discussed how hospitals make difficult decisions regarding transplants. “Transplant teams have to make very difficult choices in selecting those who will receive the very scarce organs, and requiring a COVID vaccine is reasonably related to that valid goal,” he said. https://www.wave-accounting.net/ Experts, including Melissa Barber, a doctoral candidate in Harvard Chan School’s Department of Global Health and Population, discussed Pfizer’s denial of a request to provide supplies of its antiviral drug Paxlovid so that it can be tested in a large African clinical trial. Barber noted that there’s a pressing need to test Paxlovid in a range of populations. “Clinically, we might expect populations with different comorbidities—for example HIV or diabetes—might have a range of side effects of possibly effectiveness,” she noted.